Sustainability Takes Center Stage
Who is driving the long anticipated growth in sustainability? Today, 74% of the Generation Z consumers (18 to 29) prefer to buy from sustainably-conscious brands. The youth’s enthusiasm for eco-conscious brands is influencing the market as a whole. In the US, 34% of consumers declare themselves to be concerned about how the clothes they wear affect the environment. More than ever, consumers are driving market demand for products that are in line with their values. Understanding the many facets of sustainability is vital to succeeding in the dynamic and evolving intimate apparel industry.
As sustainability and ethical manufacturing are rising in importance for consumers, the intimates industry has responded promptly
and is evolving in inspiring ways. Much of the innovation comes from the material suppliers. Sustainability means different things to different audiences: biodegradability, reduced waste, sustainably sourced materials, recycled fabrics and more. 68% of the mills present at the last Interfilière New York show in October have woven environmental commitments not only into their materials - which are sourced by the world’s most esteemed body-wear brands - but also into their company ethos.
“The Lingerie, Intimates and Swimwear Industries, perhaps more than any other apparel category, are constantly investing in innovation and anticipating customer desires."
Materials in undergarments are particularly scrutinized because of their proximity to the skin. The primary sustainable trend in the intimates industry is the growth of recycled materials as a solution for fabric mills that rely heavily on plastics. One such mill is Iluna, a global leader in sourcing sustainable fabrics. Iluna offers a GRS-certified “Green Label,” which the lingerie brands can leverage for ecofriendly lines.
Organic fibers are another trend driven by consumer demand. The industry is exploring natural fibers such as wool or organic cotton. Solstiss - a French lace manufacturer that supplies lace for designers recently launched a 100% pure organic cotton lace collection.
Many intimate apparel brands exhibiting at Curve this season, such as Calida, Hanro, and The Underargument have chosen to actively engage their consumers regarding eco-consciousness.
- Raphael Camp CEO Eurovet Americas